Listen to what the Lord is saying: “Stand up and state your case against me. Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints. And now, O mountains, listen to the Lord’s complaint! He has a case against his people. He will bring charges against Israel.
“O my people, what have I done to you? What have I done to make you tired of me? Answer me! For I brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you. Don’t you remember, my people, how King Balak of Moab tried to have you cursed and how Balaam son of Beor blessed you instead? And remember your journey from Acacia Grove to Gilgal, when I, the Lord, did everything I could to teach you about my faithfulness.”
What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Here Micah pictures a courtroom. God, the judge, tells his people what he requires of them and recites all the ways they have wronged both him and others. Chapters 4 and 5 are full of hope; chapters 6 and 7 proclaim judgment and appeal to the people to repent.
The story of Balak and Balaam is found in Numbers 22–24. Gilgal, the first campsite of the Israelites after crossing the Jordan (Joshua 4:19), was where the people renewed their covenant with God (Joshua 5:3-9). These two places represent God’s loving care for his people: his willingness both to protect them and to warn them about potential troubles. In Micah’s day, the people had forgotten this covenant and its benefits and had turned away from God.
God continued to be kind to his forgetful people, but their short memory and lack of thankfulness condemned them. Regularly remember God’s goodness and thank him. Remembering God’s past protection will help you see his present provision.
Show your thanks for God’s provision by living out Micah 6:8. How will you show that you “walk humbly with your God”? How can you “do what is right”?